Ion channels or aquaporins as novel molecular targets in gastric cancer
Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels are expressed not only in excitable cells but also in non-excitable cells such as epithelial cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that several subtypes of Kv channels are expressed in epithelial tumor cells, including human gastric cancer cells, and are associated with cell proliferation. In the present study, we examined the expression of Kv4.1 in human gastric cancer cell lines and the effects of suppressed expression of Kv4.1 on cell proliferation and cell cycle distribution. We found that Kv4.1 mRNA and protein are expressed in the human gastric cancer cell lines MKN-45 and SNU-638. Moreover, Kv4.1-targeted small interference RNA (siRNA) treatment inhibited gastric cancer cell proliferation. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that suppressed expression of Kv4.1 induced a G1-S transition block of cell cycle progression. These results reveal that Kv4.1 plays a role in the proliferation of the human gastric cancer cell lines MKN-45 and SNU-638 and can be considered as a therapeutic target for human gastric cancer.